VIRGIN AUSTRALIA: Velocity Points, use them or lose them
We all know that Bain Capital is preparing Virgin Australia for an IPO in the second half of this year. Interestingly, although Virgin claims that has nothing to do with it, it is wiping some perceived, if not actual, liability from its books. If you are a Velocity Frequent Flyer member, you better use those points or earn some more; otherwise, you might lose them all.
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Inactive account cleanup
Previously, Virgin gave a one-year extension to its usual two-year grace period before inactive accounts expire. That was in recognition of the difficulty in flying during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you are in danger of losing all your points, check your email, as Virgin has probably emailed you already. Anyway, check your velocity account, and if you have had no activity – that is, earned or burned some points for 24 months or more – you need to do something about it.
What can you do?
It’s pretty easy. You could book a flight, and that would stop your loss. Alternatively, you could buy something from a Velocigy partner of buy some points. Head over to the Virgin Australia website, and choose the ‘Velocity’ menu item at the top. There you can learn everything you need to know, from partner offers and buying points to shopping online that will earn you points.
Given that this is a Frequent Flyer program, it’s fair enough to insist that you use it frequently, usually at least once every two years. You’ve had three years to earn or burn some points this time, so it’s pretty fair. Most frequent flyer programs require some activity and if not, have a time limit on the retention of points and/or program membership.
According to the story in The Australian, Virgin have said the fact that they are going to return to the Australian Stock Exchange through an IPO, and are eliminating some frequent flyer points from the liability column of their financials are unrelated.
What Virgin has done correctly is give members more than fair warning.